Government sets out plan to cut coal usage

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Seven departments including the Ministry of Ecology and Environment and the National Development and Reform Commission jointly issued the Implementation Plan for Synergistic Efficiency of Pollution Reduction and Carbon Reduction (the Plan) on June 10.

The Plan emphasizes the importance of vigorously promoting renewable forms of energy, such as wind, solar, biomass, wave, and geothermal.

Hydropower should be developed according to local conditions; nuclear power should be implemented in an orderly manner under strict supervision with a focus on safety.

Through the above solutions, the proportion of energy produced by renewables will continuously increase.

It clearly states that:

  • During the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025), coal consumption will continue but its growth will be tightly controlled;
  • During the 15th Five-Year Plan period (2026-2030), coal consumption will be gradually reduced.

To this end, coal consumption for uses other than power generation should be reduced, and coal-fired power plants should not be built or expanded outside the special areas permitted by the state. Clean energy should continue to be promoted to meet winter heating needs in northern China.

In terms of natural gas, residential gas supply needs to be prioritized before industry and agriculture.

It is necessary to support the research and development of medium and heavy-duty electric engine technologies, and accelerate the pilot application and commercial operation of electric trucks and construction vehicles. In addition, vehicles powered by electricity will eventually make up the entire fleet used in the public sector.

The plan also details measures to reduce carbon emissions in industries such as metallurgy, building materials, and petrochemicals.

Taking the electrolytic aluminum industry as an example, with a total estimated production of 11.5 million tons in 2025, the renewable energy consumption ratio in this industry is expected to reach more than one-third.